US, Cuba Air Deal Earns Praise

Following the U.S. Department of Transportation’s announcement that an agreement has been reached between the United States and Cuba restoring scheduled air service between the two countries, ASTA president and CEO, Zane Kerby commented:

“ASTA congratulates DOT and its Cuban counterparts on reaching this agreement, which will increase air service to Cuba five-fold and will mean more and more affordable transportation options for Americans wishing to undertake authorized travel to Cuba. Resuming commercial air travel will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them.”

Kerby went on to say that: “ASTA and its members have long believed that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad. We estimate at least two million additional Americans could visit Cuba by 2018 if Congress were to lift the travel ban before the end of this year.”

Kerby also noted that: “While U.S. law still prohibits travel to Cuba for tourist activities, we are encouraged by the continued progress made by the Obama Administration, and we strongly urge Congress to enact the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act and fully repeal the travel ban once and for all.”

The agreement was also applauded by United Airlines, with the carrier indicating that it intends to apply to offer service between some of its global gateways and Havana through the Department of Transportation’s pending route case.

The airline’s statement noted that assuming service is approved, United customers will benefit from United’s expanded global route network and new opportunities for leisure and business travel to Cuba.

For the full text of DOT’s announcement, click here.